May 22, 2017

Iran Watch – March 4, 2008

[spoiler title=”Ahmadinejad’s Trip Condemned by the People of Iraq”]

National Coalition of Pro-Democracy Advocates
March 4, 2008
Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s visit was portrayed by our media and commentators as a victory for the Iranian regime. Iran’s mullahs wanted to use this trip in their propaganda war with the international community on the eve of a UN Security Council vote to implement tougher sanctions against Iran for its continued defiance over its nuclear program. However, the reality on the ground proved to be much different.

Iran’s terrorist president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, was met with widespread condemnation and protests during his visit to Iraq. Even before Ahmadinejad’s arrival, tribal sheikhs from Iraq’s Shi’ite dominated south condemned his upcoming visit. 130 tribal leaders from Iraq’s southern provinces in a joint statement stated: “Since five years ago, Iraq has turned into the scene of the Iranian regime’s meddling and aggression. In southern Iraq we are witnessing the murder of our children and the ransacking of our oil and other national wealth by the criminal elements of the Iranian regime.” The statement continued by stating, “The visit by Ahmadinejad is against our national interests and against the will of the Iraqi people.”

Last Friday, Mr. Muhammad al-Daini, member of Iraq’s parliament from the Iraqi National Dialogue Front, called for nationwide protests in an interview with Al-Hurra Television, an Arabic language US satellite television channel. He blamed Tehran for the murder of thousands of Iraqis by Iran sponsored militias and called for the closing of the Iranian regime’s diplomatic offices in Iraq. In an interview with Radio SAWA, Dr. Saleh Mutlaq, head of the Iraqi National Dialogue Front, called Ahmadinejad’s trip to Iraq “an insult to Iraqi feelings.” Dr. Mutlaq went on to state, “There is a negative widespread response from the Iraqi people to the Iranian regime and its role in provoking the sectarian sedition and disintegrating the united front of the people. If the Iraqi people are given the opportunity to express their views properly you would see millions of Iraqis would go into the streets to say no to this visit.”

In Baqouba, 35 miles northeast of Baghdad, protestors held banners reading, “We condemn the visit of terrorist butcher Ahmadinejad to Iraq,” the Associated Press reported on Saturday. Protestors there said that the Iranian regime was meddling in Iraqi affairs and supporting Al-Qaeda in an effort to promote sectarian bloodshed. The Diyala Salvation Front in a statement condemned the Iranian regime’s attempts to create instability in Iraq and the murders of Iraqi nationalists and intellectuals. Commanders of Iraq’s newly formed Awakening Councils also condemned the visit by Iran’s president.

The people of Iraqi Kurdistan expressed their disgust at Ahamdinejad’s visit to Iraq with protests and the hanging of banners across their cities. Kurdish press published reports revealing Ahmadinejad’s past as an Iranian Revolutionary Guard terrorist. The Kurdish magazine Lafin, wrote in an article titled “From Terrorist to President”: “Ahmadinejad who was involved in the explosion of Kirkuk’s oil refinery plant, has now come back after twenty two years.”

The most telling blow to Iran’s Shi’ite theocracy came from a senior Iraqi Shi’ite cleric and from Iraq’s Shi’ite theological schools in the holy cities of Najaf and Karbala. Arab Al-Yawm daily published in Jordan, quoted Sheikh Hassan Al-Moayyed as condemning Ahmadinejad’s visit and pointing out that his visit is rejected by the people of Iraq. Additionally, 110 scholars and teachers from Najaf and Karbala’s Shi’ite seminaries, signed a statement condemning the visit to Iraq by Iran’s president and asked for the eviction of the Iranian regime from Iraq. The statement was titled, “We reject the visit of the brutal Ahmadinejad to Iraq.” The statement read: “With our loud voice, we strongly reject Ahmadinejad’s visit to Iraq’s clean soil; he is the one whose profession has been shooting coup de grace at political prisoners and the honest Iranian people. Does he want to shoot coup de grace at Iraqi people too? No and thousand times no, what Ahmadinejad wants is the expansion of terrorism and sectarianism and enmity. As our neighbor, he had better stop plundering our wealth and widespread sending of arms to our country and training death squads in Iraq.” It continued stating: “The most painful dagger the Iranian regime has stabbed in our back is the shameful misuse of Shiite Muslim religion in order to achieve its ominous objectives; through this inhumane measure, they have targeted our highest national interests. The Iranian embassy in Baghdad and its consulates in the southern Iraqi provinces are acting as the legal cover to advance such anti-Iraqi policies.” [/spoiler] [spoiler title=”Iran Regime’s Security Plan for Iraq”] [/spoiler] [spoiler title=”Reform in Iran?”] March 04, 2008 Middle East Times Roger Gale, MP

Iran’s Guardians’ Council, the body put in place to vet candidates standing for the upcoming parliamentary elections on March 14 has reinstated 280 individuals who were originally banned. Among them is Ayatollah Khomeini’s grandson, Ali Eshraghi. The original list of banned candidates included some further significant figures in Iranian politics, including senior cleric Ayatollah Mousavi Tabrizi who served as general public prosecutor under Ayatollah Khomeini.

The significant analysis is that such reinstatements were not in fact an answer to public discontent, but a preplanned attempt by the regime to quiet the masses. The leaders in Tehran were fully aware that banning Khomeini’s grandson would cause a feeling of anger. However, they were aware that reinstating Ali Eshraghi among a group of 280 would create the belief that the regime was reacting to the people’s demands, a belief that would mean the further 2100 individuals who were banned and not reinstated, including Tabrizi, would be well forgotten by the time Iranians go to the polls.

Tabrizi’s removal as a candidate is a further indication of President Ahmadinejad’s control and insistence that he will achieve his aims and that of Ayatollah Khamenei on his terms and his terms only. Tabrizi is not a threat to the Islamic Republic as we know it.

President Muhammad Khatami, under the banner of “reformism,” has achieved great success for the regime, but unfortunately little of that has trickled down to the Iranian people in the form of promised greater freedoms.

Khatami’s greatest success has been to achieve a ban on the Iranian opposition group, The People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI). The U.S. Bill Clinton administration, in what has been termed by officials as a “goodwill gesture” to Khatami, banned the group in an attempt to build bridges with Tehran. This attempt and further such endeavors by a European Union lead by the British government to open dialogue with Tehran gave the regime years to advance its nuclear program and years to strengthen its internal control over the Iranian people through horrific human rights abuses. [/spoiler] [spoiler title=”Iran’s Nuclear Threat”] Wall Street Journal
By Zalmay Khalilzad
March 4, 2008

The United Nations Security Council has passed another resolution concerning Iran because its nuclear program is an unacceptable threat. Iran’s violations of Security Council resolutions not only continue, but are deepening. Instead of suspending its proliferation-sensitive activities as the council has required, Iran is dramatically expanding the number of operating centrifuges and developing a new generation of centrifuges, testing one of them with nuclear fuel.

Once again, Iran has not made the choice the world had hoped for; once again, the Security Council has no choice but to act. At stake is the security of a vital region of the world, and the credibility of the Security Council and the International Atomic Energy Agency, as they seek to hold Iran to its nonproliferation commitments.

View Source Here [/spoiler] [spoiler title=”Security Council Adds Sanctions Against Iran”]

By WARREN HOGE and ELAINE SCIOLINO
Published: March 4, 2008

UNITED NATIONS — The Security Council on Monday adopted its third resolution imposing sanctions on Iran for its refusal to cease enriching uranium, an activity that the West suspects Iran may be using to create fuel for a nuclear weapon.

The previous two measures gained the unanimous support of the 15-member panel, but in balloting on Monday Indonesia abstained, saying it “remained to be convinced of the efficacy of adopting additional sanctions at this juncture.” Fourteen countries voted in favor.

The resolution authorizes inspections of cargo to and from Iran that is suspected of carrying prohibited equipment, tightens the monitoring of Iranian financial institutions and extends travel bans and asset freezes against persons and companies involved in the nuclear program.

It adds 13 names to the existing list of 5 individuals and 12 companies subject to travel and asset restrictions. The new names include people with direct responsibility for building fast-spinning centrifuges that enrich uranium ore and a brigadier general engaged in “efforts to get around the sanctions” in the two earlier resolutions.

Enriched uranium is used to power nuclear reactors for civilian use. But highly enriched uranium can be used as fuel for a nuclear weapon. The new measure also bans all trade and supply of so-called dual-use items, materials and technologies that can be adapted for military as well as civilian ends.

Earlier on Monday in Vienna, Mohamed ElBaradei, the director of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations nuclear monitor, said newly disclosed intelligence reports that Iran had secretly researched how to make nuclear weapons were of “serious concern” and would be pursued by his office.

“Iran continues to maintain that these alleged weaponization studies related to conventional weapons only are fabricated,” Dr. ElBaradei said in a speech to the agency’s 35-country policy-making body. “However a full-fledged examination of this issue has yet to take place.”

The studies were described last Monday, in a briefing by Olli Heinonen, the agency’s senior inspector.

They included sketches and a video that appeared to have come from Iran’s own military laboratories, and Mr. Heinonen said they showed work “not consistent with any application other than the development of a nuclear weapon.”

In a thinly veiled criticism of Iran, Dr. ElBaradei said, “I urge Iran to be as active and cooperative as possible in working with the agency to clarify this matter of serious concern.”

Iran says that the agency’s findings support its claim that its nuclear program is solely for peaceful purposes, and it has rejected all suggestions that it was studying how to make nuclear weapons.

Iran’s ambassador to the agency, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, called the intelligence data “forged and fabricated” and denounced the new Security Council resolution on Monday as “irresponsible” and “an arrow aiming at the heart of” the atomic energy agency.

Iran argues that its program is devoted solely to producing fuel for nuclear reactors that generate electricity. The United States and its European allies on the Council contend that the real purpose is to make Iran an atomic power, and they say they are determined to prevent that from happening.

The resolution approved Monday was originally scheduled for a decision on Friday, but its two sponsors, Britain and France, delayed consideration in the hope of getting as close to unanimity as possible. In addition to Indonesia, three other Council countries — Libya, South Africa and Vietnam — had expressed reservations.

To address them, the final version included last-minute language changes making it clear that cargo inspections must conform to local and international laws and stressing the central role of the International Atomic Energy Agency and evidence in the latest report from Dr. ElBaradei on Feb. 22 that Iran was cooperating with the agency.

The resolution extends the reach of punishments in the two earlier measures, adopted in December 2006 and March 2007, but it does not make them tougher.

The text was drawn up after months of talks among the Council’s five permanent members — Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States — and Germany, which is not a Council member.

It repeats a pledge from the six countries to establish full relations and economic cooperation with Iran should it agree to suspend enrichment-related and reprocessing activities.

In Vienna, Britain, France and Germany said they were preparing a draft resolution critical of Iran that could be adopted by the agency’s policy-making group this week. The United States, Canada, Australia and Japan have already indicated privately that they will support such a move.

It would be the first time that the board had passed such a resolution on Iran since it referred Iran’s nuclear behavior to the Security Council for review two years ago.

The United States, which in the past has criticized Dr. ElBaradei for not being tough enough on Iran, expressed support for that approach. “Despite some progress in addressing past issues, troubling questions remain about Iranian activities that strongly suggest a clandestine weapons-related program,” Gregory L. Schulte, the American envoy to the agency, told reporters in Vienna.

He added, “Between the indications of weapons work, which would constitute a violation of Iran’s treaty obligations and Iran’s blatant violations of Security Council resolutions, there is strong reason for Iran’s file to remain open both in New York and in Vienna.”

Warren Hoge reported from the United Nations, and Elaine Sciolino from Paris.

View Source Here [/spoiler]